Miracle! NY DEC Approves Dominion’s New Compressor Stations

The anti-fossil fuel nutters in New York have finally lost a major battle they’ve waged against the shale industry for the past 5+ years. In June 2014, MDN told you about the Dominion New Market Project–a project that will build two new compressor plants and upgrade one other compressor station in upstate New York–to help flow more abundant, cheap and clean-burning Marcellus Shale gas from Pennsylvania (and beyond) into the northeast (see Dominion Asks FERC for New Compressors in Upstate NY, WV). The project is projected to cost $159 million and provide 112,000 dekatherms per day (Dth/d) of extra natural gas capacity along ~200 miles of existing Dominion pipeline across upstate New York. The existing Dominion pipeline runs through the Horseheads, Ithaca, Syracuse and Albany areas. In March 2015 MDN friend Andy Leahy wrote about the pitched battle antis waged against the project (see NY Antis Flood FERC in Fight Against Dominion’s New Market Project). The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved Dominion’s New Market Project in October 2015 (see FERC Approves Expansion of Dominion Pipeline in Upstate NY). However, with a ban on fracking in NY, and with projects like the FERC-approved Constitution Pipeline being blocked by the politicized NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC), it seemed like no pipeline projects or anything to do with shale energy would ever get approved–until we dump Cuomo. Then a miracle happened! At the end of 2016, the politicized DEC finally approved Dominion’s New Market Project and the construction of the compressor stations. MDN owes a huge debt of gratitude to Andy Leahy who unearthed what the DEC clearly wanted to keep quiet. Andy found a reference to the New Market Project approval in the left-leaning Politico and went nosing around and found documentation for the official DEC approvals (below)…
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Exclusive: Anschutz Wins 4 Yr-Old NY Methane Contamination Case

exclusiveAn MDN exclusive: In 2010, at the beginning of widespread public consciousness about the Marcellus Shale and a time when drilling was just taking off in Pennsylvania, a New York City personal injury law firm smelled opportunity with a group of landowners in Chemung County, NY. Nine families living in Big Flats claimed that nearby gas drilling from Anschutz Corporation had “contaminated” their water wells (see our story at the time, Supposed “First Claim” Filed in New York Alleging Water Contamination from Hydraulic Fracturing Gas Drilling). The NYC law firm claimed in a press release (falsely) that the two wells drilled by Anschutz had been fracked (see Anschutz Exploration Responds to Lawsuit Claiming Drilling Operations Contaminated Water Wells in Big Flats, NY). The case started out in a lower court, called Supreme Court in New York (go figure) and eventually ended up in U.S. District Court in Western NY. Last week, U.S. District Court Judge Charles Siragusa dismissed the case against Anschutz…
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Dominion’s NY Compressor Plants to Move More Marcellus Gas

In June MDN told you about the Dominion New Market Project–a project that will build two new compressor plants and upgrade one other compressor station in upstate New York to help flow more abundant, cheap and clean-burning Marcellus Shale gas from Pennsylvania (and beyond) into the northeast (see Dominion Asks FERC for New Compressors in Upstate NY, WV). It is projected to cost $159 million and provide 112,000 dekatherms per day (Dth/d) of extra natural gas capacity along ~200 miles of existing Dominion pipeline across upstate New York. The pipeline runs through the Horseheads, Ithaca, Syracuse and Albany areas. We have some details about that project, including details about the proposed compressor station in Chemung County, NY…
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NY Anti Drillers Apoplectic Over Soil in Chemung Co. Landfill

X-Files The Truth is Out ThereA bunch of former hippies who are now anti-drilling activists in the Twin Tiers area of New York (Elmira/Corning area) protested at the Chemung County legislature meeting last night. Protesting what? That the Chemung County landfill, which has been accepting drill cuttings from PA shale drilling for something like two years now, is considering expanding the landfill to make more money from PA’s drillers. Accepting drill cuttings is the only way New Yorkers currently make money from the shale drilling revolution (thank you Gov. Ditherer). Once again protesters are claiming area residents will start glowing in the dark–any time now…
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Frack & Refrack: Drilling Expert Lectures SPE Group in PA

NOTE: This story has been corrected. The SPE meeting was not in Horseheads, NY but was in Carnegie, PA. Sorry for the error!

In early May, Mike Vincent, an engineer and consultant with Insight Consulting, was the guest presenter at the Society of Petroleum Engineers local chapter meeting hosted in Carnegie, PA. Mike had a lot of great things to say–and to show (two big PowerPoint presentations embedded below). Among the gems we found in Mike’s presentation: Marcellus wells drilled with 500 foot spacing produce as much as those spaced 1,000 feet apart, which means they don’t “compete” for the same gas reserves. Translation: closer well spacing means more wells per square mile, more production, and more profit for the driller and the landowner…
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MDN Plants a Big Fat Kiss on Access Midstream

Because it’s Friday and we’re in a jovial mood, we’ve decided to award an “at-a-boy/girl” award today, to… Access Midstream. A few years ago Chesapeake Midstream was spun off into it’s own company and later renamed Access (see Chesapeake Midstream Changes Name to Access Midstream). Access has a serious presence in the Marcellus and Utica Shale region, among other shale basins across the country.

So why the recognition today? Because even though New York politicians like Gov. Andrew “can’t-make-a-decision” Cuomo have obstinately refused to allow shale drilling in the state, Access is building a new office building in Big Flats, NY, near Corning/Elmira. The location happens to be close to the PA border and of course Access will use the office as a regional HQ for its operations in northeastern PA. Access already has a presence in the Big Flats area and has had for several years. They’ve decided it’s time to build a new regional HQ and consolidate several locations into one. The point is, Access could just as easily have built their new building a few miles away in PA, which is what 99.9999999% of other industry-related companies have done (NY is the BIGGEST loser). However, Access decided to throw us NYers a bone and build their facility, employing 135 people, in our high tax, business-unfriendly and drilling hostile state. And so we say, thank you! And, are you crazy?!…
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Setting the Record Straight on PA Drill Cuttings Going to NY Landfill

Every now and again it’s necessary to run around and clean up the poopy mess made by reckless and inaccurate claims from anti-drillers. It’s a distasteful but necessary job that needs to be done, otherwise the mental feces they leave strewn all around would begin to pile up.

With respect to inaccurate claims made by anti-drillers (with faux outrage) over drill cuttings (leftover rock and dirt) from PA shale wells that go to the Chemung County Landfill just across the border in NY, Chemung County Executive Tom Santulli is on clean-up duty. Hey, somebody has to do it, so with plastic bag in hand…
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Millennium Pipeline Looks to Move More Marcellus Gas with Dominion

The story of the northeast: Too much Marcellus Shale natural gas, not enough pipelines to move it all to market. More pipelines are on the way like the Constitution, but in the meantime, how to move the enormous amount of gas already flowing?

On Friday, the Millennium Pipeline, a major transmission pipeline that traverses New York State from Steuben County in the western part of the state to Rockland County in the southeastern part of the state, announced a binding open season through September 13 on a proposal to ship more Marcellus gas by creating an interconnect between Dominion Transmission’s pipeline and the Millennium at or near Horseheads, NY (close to Elmira)…
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Cuomo & DiNapoli: Asleep at Sales Tax Switch in NY Southern Tier

MDN has long chronicled the sad situation for landowners in New York State with a moratorium that is, as of today, 5 years and 20 days old. It has had catastrophic economic consequences for New York, especially for those who live in the Southern Tier of the state–that area along the mid-state “southern” border with Pennsylvania (Broome, Tioga, Chemung, Steuben counties). Gov. Andrew Cuomo is spineless on the fracking issue–that much is clear. He won’t stand up to the shrill and unreasonable voices in his own party. No one will take him seriously on the national stage. Cuomo’s rising star has become a shooting star–straight down.

Thomas DiNapoli, NY State Comptroller, is clearly an avowed anti-driller. We’ve brought you a number of stories that illustrate his disdain for drilling (see MDN stories about DiNapoli here). We find it particularly offensive and hypocritical (although not surprising) that DiNapoli has just issued a report that shows sales tax revenue is up in most of the state’s counties, but down in Southern Tier counties–down a lot. DiNapoli bemoans the fact that the Southern Tier continues to take it in the neck–yet he makes no mention of how shale drilling could instantly reverse the economic misery of Southern Tier residents. Typical politician–identify the problem but offer no solutions…
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Gov. Cuomo Says Poor Jobs Report Won’t Sway Him on Frack Decision

NY Gov. Andrew “The Ditherer” Cuomo continues to, well, dither when it comes to deciding whether or not it’s time to frack in New York. The very place where Marcellus and Utica Shale gas is found in abundance in the state–the Southern Tier areas of Binghamton and Elmira–are also the very places at the bottom of the economic heap. Recent jobs numbers show Binghamton and Elmira dead last or near last in job creation. Which is a pity because if fracking were allowed, that would change overnight.

Andy’s response to the prospect that fracking would help create jobs in his state where they are most needed? I’ll dither a while longer…
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Weekend Anti-Gas Propaganda-fest Scheduled for Upstate NY Towns

An all-hands-on-deck anti-drilling propaganda-fest will be held this weekend in Bath, Spencer and Elmira (all in NY state). The so-called “Fracking vs. Human Health Forums” will feature lies and distortions carefully crafted to scare the general public. If you’re a landowner who lives in those areas, attend and make your voice heard to counter the untruths that will be presented.

The details on times and locations:

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Exclusive: First NY Marcellus Wells to be Drilled are Identified

breaking news

NOTE: Please see the correction to this story on this page:
MDN Editor Jim Willis Corrects “First NY Marcellus Wells” Story.

An astute MDN subscriber sent us a tip that the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) updated their “Notices of Intent to Issue Well Permits” web page last night at 7:00 pm (Feb 14, 2013). In the list of well permits they “intend” to issue are 43 Marcellus Shale wells and 1 Utica Shale well.

Does this mean DEC Commissioner Joe Martens is getting ready to accept the SGEIS and issue permits? We believe it’s still too early for optimism on that front. However, if New York does decide to move forward and issue drilling permits “within 10 days” after accepting the SGEIS drilling rules, it stands to reason the wells in this list will be the very first wells to receive permission to drill.

We’ve harvested the information for all of the “Intent to Issue” wells, looking up each latitude and longitude and translating it into a street address. We’ve also rearranged the information in an easier to scan and understand format. You won’t find this information anywhere else but on MDN…

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Anti-Fracking Group Mails Propaganda Brochure to 190K NYers

Catskill Citizens for Safe Energy is mailing an anti-fracking brochure (killing precious trees from the Catskills to provide the paper, no doubt) to 190,000 residents throughout the Southern Tier area of New York—a region that desperately wants and needs drilling, and the area that will see drilling when/if the current moratorium is lifted. The brochure is pure propaganda and full of outright lies, but hey, this is still Ameritopia where the First Amendment is alive and well, for people on the left anyway.

An electronic copy of the brochure is embedded below so MDN’s fellow NYers know what they can use to line the bird cage with when it arrives.

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Horseheads, NY Board in No Hurry to Ban Fracking

Board members for the Town of Horseheads, NY (Chemung County) are in no hurry to pass a fracking ban or moratorium. They’re waiting to see what the town zoning board says after they’ve studied proposed new drilling rules from the state Dept. of Environmental Conservation. The town board is also waiting to see whether or not the DEC even bothers to release new rules to allow fracking. Until then? No hurry, man.

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Fracking Sand Terminal Opens Today in Horseheads, NY

For some reason MDN just loves a railroad-related story. The shale drilling industry has single-handedly resurrected short line railroads in this country. This is a story about a new railroad terminal opening today—in Chemung County, NY.

A former oil trader who became a private equity investor, Ray Bartoszek, along with private-equity firm Carriage House Partners, invested $20 million in buying and building the Horseheads (NY) Sand and Transloading Terminal (HOST), a 200-acre site in New York’s Southern Tier area that will handle fracking sand for area drillers. Bartoszek’s plan is to ship in Montana fracking sand for drillers in Pennsylvania and (he had hoped) New York. The New York part isn’t working out so well, but Bartoszek says with the grand opening of HOST, he’ll still turn a profit by shipping sand to PA—just a smaller profit.

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